To work in a corporate setup or a standalone clinic

Just out of college, our employment decisions are mostly based on which job found us first, the location of the clinic, and the compensation. A few months into our jobs, we learn from our friends about their experiences in other types of setups (large corporate chains, standalone clinics, charitable hospitals). Each type of clinic offers distinct advantages and learning opportunities, and aligning that with your long-term goals will mean you gather the right skills at the right time.

In this article, I draw from my experience in working in a large corporate chain and several standalone clinics to highlight the positive aspects of working in each type of a setup. Read on:

Pros of working in a corporate clinic

  • Specialty-based practice: Corporate setups encourage specialty-based practice, which helps you hone your skills in your own field.
  • Lucrative salaries: As a beginner after MDS, corporate setups offer a good salary without any hassle. A BDS with more than four years of work experience can expect salaries similar to a MDS fresher. Additional incentives are paid based on the number of cases performed. Professionals are also offered an allowance for traveling to other branches for consultations.
  • Standard protocols: Right from standard treatment rates to maintenance of patient records and waste disposal, strict protocols and guidelines are followed in all clinics of a corporate chain. This instills the best practices in the professional early in their careers.
  • Independent decision making: While working in a corporate set up you directly get to handle patients and can create their treatment plans by yourself. This type of practice can help you boost your confidence level and improvise your patient-handling abilities.
  • Good number of leaves: Corporate set ups offer good number of leaves to the doctors who have completed their probation period. Few setups offer maternity leaves to their eligible employees as well. While regular weekly offs on weekends are not usually entertained, additional leaves (such as casual leave, sick leave) are offered.
  • Quality practice: Most of the corporate set ups have created quality teams to evaluate the standard of quality and treatment offered to the patients. Quality checks are performed in various branches on a monthly basis. This helps in keeping a track of cleanliness of the clinic, quality of materials used, inventory, sterilization protocols, and quality of treatment delivered to the patient.
  • Continuous learning workshops: Corporate setups organize various workshops or online lectures from eminent speakers on Basic life support, emergency management, development of patient management skills, or any other clinical subject learning skills etc. These workshops are conducted on regular basis to upgrade the knowledge and skills of the clinician.
  • Managerial opportunities: Over time, professionals can take up managerial positions, where they are responsible for the revenue generated across multiple clinics in a city or geographical region.
  • Organized environment: Overall, corporate chains are more organized. They have bio-metric authentication for attendance. Working hours are fixed. Holidays are declared at the start of the year. Any variations from the fixed schedule is informed in advance to the doctors so that patient appointment scheduling is not hindered. Lastly (and I can’t stress on this enough), salaries are paid on time every month.

Pros of working in a standalone clinic:

  • No additional responsibilities: Working in a standalone clinic is likely to be more convenient as initially you may not have additional responsibilities such as evaluation of daily reports, payment of electricity bills, and revenue generation. You are more concerned about the consultations and treatment offered to the patients.
  • Opportunities to learn how a clinic is run: You can learn the basics of running a clinic by observing your mentors and their ways of patient management and gaining referrals. You can also get a better idea of the smallest details regarding the clinic and materials which can help you in building your own clinic and practice.
  • Constant clinical guidance: You can enhance your existing skills and develop newer ones better once you are working in a standalone clinic. In such setups as there is someone to evaluate your work constantly and guide you to improve and work on your skills. Initially you might be given only basic treatments to perform, but over time, you will be allowed to handle more complicated cases.
  • Patient-handling skills: It’s easier to gain confidence to deal with patients and the treatment plan when you are working in an individual clinic. You can learn from the patient handling skills of your mentors and seniors. Your mentors can also share their experiences and best practices with you.
  • Flexible timings: It’s easier to seek flexible timings for personal commitments (e.g., for a working mother). You can also work in two different clinics part-time based on your convenience.
  • Sunday week-offs: In such setups, it is more common to have week offs on Sundays, which means you can spend time with family.
  • Less competitive: Working in standalone clinics is less competitive and there is lesser pressure on you to achieve the target revenue. You have your peace of mind and can work toward the benefit of the patients without any external pressure.
  • No salary deductions: Unlike corporate chains, standalone clinics don’t deduct salaries for the clinic not achieving its revenue target, quality standards of the entire clinic, or not successfully implementing a promotional campaign.

Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Dr. Shilpy Bhandari is a Hyderabad-based Periodontist and the founder of Dentistry Insider. She has worked extensively across dental clinics of all sizes — from large corporate chains to small, independent setups.

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